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Non combat Content: Fluff or Flavor?

By Lady Sirse



Where's the fluff? Can non combat content be fun? Do you really need to have
all the bells and whistles that make your time in Telon more than just a hack
and slash walk through a creepy dungeon? What is it that makes a game a world?

Houses, clothing, crafting, mounts, unique travel modes and
even quests could all to a point be called the fluff of MMOs. Is fluff such
a bad thing? I think perhaps it is exactly this type of content that draws
fans by the million to the genre. Who hasn't read a novel that makes a setting
so clear in your mind you can close your eyes and almost live in that moment,
interact with characters created so vividly in word that they spring with
ease unto the canvas of your mind. Why can't gaming be the same way?

Fans and critics alike of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes have been
waiting years for the world of Telon to be seen before them. We have instead
been given lore to set the scene, screen shots to add a splash of color, concept
art to fuel the fires of our imaginations. Contests of fiction and art have
filled the months for those creative enough to share the scenes that have
come to life in their mind's eye. Are all of these visions caught up in combat
sequences or mechanics? Heck no…

These visions are filled with a sensory palette of colors, sounds,
creatures and so on. One could say they are filled with fluff. What will your
character's name be? Are you one of those people who is able to recite a life
story at will? Many of the fans in the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes community
are just the ones that can. Don't believe me? Take a look at Affiliated Fan
sites like RPUnion or any of them that have
role playing sections on their forums. Here you will find settings, characters,
histories and most importantly communities that already inhabit Telon though
not one of them has loaded the game yet.

Perhaps spinning words isn't your thing, maybe you are more
artistic than that and are drawn to doodle, paint, render or sketch your version
of Telonian landscape based on the descriptions put forth in the lore. Or
even have a talent like Vanguard Spheres'
Cobalt Katz who has been inspired to compose breathtaking strains of music
that truly make you stop and close your eyes to see what picture the notes
are painting.

Stories, lore, art and music…all fluff? I think not. We
have been given bits and pieces of things to fuel the fires of imagination,
and often times debate. Player crafted items for houses, cities and transportation,
unique clothing needed for different situations, including just attending
social events. Nino
has teased us with snippets of the score that leave us yearning for more.
The Vanguard: Saga of Heroes official site talks about being able to influence
Kings and powers throughout the world. We know this will fall somehow into
the seeming top secret sphere of Diplomacy.

There have been rumors of horses, carts, caravans and recently
even flying mounts that will make their way into the game to move us from
point to point. Surely this is fluff when in other games going from point
to point can be accomplished with a spell or a click of an item. Why is it
then that an entire community is on the edge of their seats waiting to hear
any concrete detail about this? Could it be that they want this fluff, this
non combat content that will take up their resources, their time and perhaps
even their character's life if the rumors are to be believed?

It seems to me that Sigil Games Online has taken on the Herculean
task of making a world of fluff invaded by spurts of combat. Why? Because
they are attempting to make a game that will encompass a community. You may
call it fluff, but I believe that the team at Sigil Games Online and their
growing community would call it a world. You can't have a world if there is
no landscape. Why have races, classes and different towns if there is no lore
to explain how they came to be? There is no joy in accomplishing tasks if
there is no validation of the risk and effort it took to achieve it.

Telon may be months away from our view, but if you look within
the community, I think you will get a good idea of what to expect. A diverse
group of players who are all looking to find a place to reside. They are looking
for a place to play their game. Just like in real life, we all life our lives
differently, so to will we all play our MMOs differently. So to those that
are looking for stats, combat, mechanics and encounter systems, I am sure
you will find it in spades in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. But for those looking
for a home, for a world to reside in…I say bring on the fluff!

 


 



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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.

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